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Corn on the Cob for a Large Group: Exactly How Much to Buy

  • 4 min read

When summertime rolls around, there’s nothing quite like biting into a buttery ear of corn on the cob at a backyard gathering. Whether it’s an annual family reunion, a neighborhood cookout, or just a simple dinner party, corn on the cob is a perennial crowd-pleaser that’s as easy to prepare as it is to devour. But if you’ve ever been tasked with feeding a large group, you might be wondering: How much corn on the cob should you buy? Well, the answer is here, so let’s dive into the details!

Corn on the Cob Quantity Guide

Let’s start with the basics. The rule of thumb when it comes to corn on the cob is to estimate about one to two ears per person. Therefore, for:

  • 10 people, plan on 10-20 ears of corn.
  • 20 people, plan for 20-40 ears.
  • 30 people, go for 30-60 ears.
  • For 50 people, you’ll want to purchase 50-100 ears.
  • Lastly, for a crowd of 100 people, you’re looking at 100-200 ears of corn.

Remember, this is an estimate and could vary based on the eating habits of your guests and the number of other dishes you’re serving.

How to Cook Corn on the Cob for a Crowd

Once you’ve figured out how much corn to buy, the next question is how to cook it all. There are a number of ways to cook corn on the cob, from grilling to boiling to roasting. If you’re cooking for a large crowd, boiling is the simplest and most efficient method.

You can easily boil dozens of ears at once in a large stockpot. Just make sure the pot is big enough and fill it with enough water to fully submerge the corn. The corn will need to cook for about 7-10 minutes after the water returns to a boil.

Grilling is another great option for cooking corn on the cob for a large group, as you can often fit several ears of corn on a large grill. To grill corn, you’ll first need to peel back the husks (without removing them completely) and remove the silk. Then, pull the husks back up and soak the ears in water for about 15 minutes before grilling. This will prevent the husks from burning and add extra moisture for steam cooking the corn.

How to Make Corn on the Cob Go Further

If you’re trying to stretch your corn on the cob to feed a larger crowd, there are a few ways to make it go further. One way is to cut the ears in half before serving. This might be especially appreciated by guests who want to try a little bit of everything at your cookout, or for kids who might not eat a whole ear of corn.

You can also consider other dishes that incorporate corn, like a corn salad or corn chowder. These dishes can be made in large quantities and can help stretch out the amount of corn you’ve purchased.

Group SizeMinimum Ears of CornMaximum Ears of Corn
10 people1020
20 people2040
30 people3060
50 people50100
100 people100200

How to Serve Corn on the Cob to a Group

Serving corn on the cob to a group can be as simple or as fancy as you want it to be. At its simplest, you can just pile the cooked ears onto a large platter or serving dish and let guests help themselves.

For something a bit more elaborate, you could set up a corn on the cob bar with a variety of toppings and seasonings. Provide small dishes of butter, different types of salt, pepper, a variety of spices, and maybe even some specialty items like Parmesan cheese or chili powder.

In conclusion, whether you’re planning a small gathering or a large feast, corn on the cob is a fantastic and flexible option that’s almost universally loved. So next time you’re planning a menu for a large group, remember to add “ears of corn” to your shopping list. You’ll be all set for a corn-tastic feast that’ll have your guests coming back for seconds, and maybe even thirds!

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